Dactyl Hill Squad, Book 1

38276982

"An unforgettable historical, high-octane adventure." -- Dav Pilkey, author/illustrator of the Dog Man series

It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as the Civil War rages between raptor-mounted armies down South. Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum are on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and a number of their fellow orphans are kidnapped by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker.

Magdalys and her friends flee to Brooklyn and settle in the Dactyl Hill neighborhood, where black and brown New Yorkers have set up an independent community--a safe haven from the threats of Manhattan. Together with the Vigilance Committee, they train to fly on dactylback, discover new friends and amazing dinosaurs, and plot to take down Riker. Can Magdalys and the squad rescue the rest of their friends before it's too late?---from the publisher

288 pages                               978-1338268829                  Ages 9-13

Keywords:  dinosaurs, New York, 19th century, Civil War, discrimination, racism, prejudice, slavery, teamwork, courage, family, brother/sister, orphans, action/adventure, diversity, diverse books, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Latino author, Colored Orphanage Asylum, Draft Riots

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It's 1863, New York City, and the dinosaurs roam the streets and dominate the skies.  Magdalys lives in an orphanage under the domineering eye of the matron, Miss Henrietta Von Marsh.  Tonight they are being taken to the theater in a triceratops driven cart but before they go, Miss Von Marsh has mail to deliver.  She calls the names of the orphans who have received letters but when she gets to Magdalys, the name she orates is Margaret Rocheford.  It's a battle of wills, Magdalys knows her real name.  Miss Von Marsh refuses to use it.  No letter passes hands.

On the way to the theater the group has a run in with a man named Riker.  He's one of the leaders of the gangs that kidnap orphans and send them south to be slaves.  As the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg rage on and brown lives are being lost, this treachery and duplicity are two northern foes to be combatted daily.

Magdalys gets her letter by using her wits.  Turns out it's about her brother, Montez, who is fighting in the South.  As she reads it in amidst the theater audience, suddenly everything turns into chaos.  The theater is ablaze. The orphans need to escape.

This is a non-stop action-packed fantasy/historical fiction powerhouse that holds your attention with the intensity of its risks and thrills and backs it all up with the power of dinosaurs and people with great hearts, great courage, loyalty and love.

It's got something for everyone.

288 pages                               978-1338268829                  Ages 9-13

Keywords:  dinosaurs, New York, 19th century, Civil War, discrimination, racism, prejudice, slavery, teamwork, courage, family, brother/sister, orphans, action/adventure

Book two is Dactyl Hill Squad:  Freedom Fire

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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